Tippi Hedren is speaking out about how she says the legendary suspense director Alfred Hitchcock ruined her career and once assaulted her — after she refused to sleep with him.
The Birds actress told Inside Edition: “It is the worst thing to be the object of someone's obsession if you are not interested... It became unbearable.”
Hedren was a struggling single mom with her young daughter Melanie Griffith when the Psycho filmmaker plucked her from obscurity to star in The Birds in 1963.
He followed up that success with Marnie, once again enlisting Hedren to star.
But Hitchcock's interest in Hedren went beyond that of a leading lady. Hedren documents a violent encounter with the filmmaker in her new autobiography, Tippi, A Memoir, on sale today.
"He suddenly grabbed me and put his hands on me. It was sexual, it was perverse, and it was ugly. The harder I fought him, the more aggressive he became,” she wrote.
But the now-86-year-old actress told Inside Edition that she stopped his advances toward her and he “never got that far.”
Hitchcock retaliated with cruelty, Hedren claims, even replacing mechanical birds with real ones in some of the most famous scenes from The Birds.
They spent five days filming a two-minute scene — an experience she describes in her book as "brutal, ugly and relentless." She was pecked at and began to really bleed on set.
“He told me he'd ruin my career. I told him, 'do what you have to do,'" she told Inside Edition.
Despite Hitchcock’s threats, Hedren's legacy lives on in daughter Melanie Griffith and granddaughter Dakota Johnson.
"They are successful, beautiful, caring, charming. I'm very proud to have them as my legacy. We have a good time,” she said.